How to Process Emotions in a Healthy Way: My 5-Step Emotional Processing Method

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Hey, everybody. So, the other day I was at the pediatrician with my kids, and the doctor, who I know pretty well, asked me if I was okay. And I was like, “What?” And apparently, he had seen the video I made a few weeks ago that was really raw and emotional, and he was a little bit worried about me.

And a bunch of other people asked too. So, I just wanted to kind of tie up that loose end.

So first, I do want to apologize. I kind of left y’all hanging there. I made a video showing the most intense part of my emotional cycle, but I didn’t really fill in the blanks for you on how I processed through those intense emotions.

So, I just wanted to share that with you now.  

Emotions Serve A Function

The first thing is I just want to say, like, my emotions can burn really hot. Like I feel emotions really deeply and intensely. But I also know what to do with them. I’m not perfect, but I know what to do with my emotions.

So, that day I was genuinely feeling intensely sad and angry, but I also know that emotions aren’t just bad things that happen to you.

Emotions often serve a function. They’re a messenger, encouraging you to take some kind of action.  

So, in that case, I felt deeply sad about Om and his loss, and I felt deeply angry about the way victims are treated. And I knew what I was feeling, but I also knew what I could do about it. Right?

I could get up on my soapbox, which you, my subscribers, have generously given me the opportunity to have a YouTube channel and say what I wanted to say, and I can also encourage people to donate to the legislation and to donate to the housing to protect victims.

So, after feeling those intense emotions, I took the emotions that I could take,  and I got a great response. I made that video and hundreds of thousands of people watched it.  

I also got calls from investigators and reporters, and I got emails from a handful of other people who were victims. Another good thing that came out of that video was that, in the comments section, for example, someone said, “Oh, I told my mom when I was abused, and she didn’t believe me,” and hundreds of people told her, “I believe you.”

So, I hope that for that viewer it made a little bit of a difference. 

Another thing is like taking that action, the GoFundMe has raised over a hundred thousand dollars, which is more than double its original goal. And then, like I said earlier, the unfortunately not surprising thing is that many more victims of this specific abuser came forward, and they were able to connect with investigators and other victims and have their stories heard. 

For me personally, after I made and published that video, within a few hours, most of my intense emotions just resolved themselves because I took action on what I could change and I accepted what I couldn’t change.

Feeling Intense Emotions Is Okay

So, feeling really intense emotions is totally fine with me. Like I can handle having big emotions, making space for them, and choosing whether to take action on what I could take action on and accepting the things that I can’t change that moment.

So, for those of you who are worried about me, thank you for your concern. I, like, I love you all, and I care about you, and I appreciate that you care about me. And  

I’m doing good. I’m sleeping good. I’m feeling good. I’m back to making videos, and I’m playing with my kids.

Life is what I want to be doing. Right? And when we work through emotions, when we allow ourselves to feel them and to notice them and to name them and clarify them and decide if there’s some action to take and then we take that action, emotions generally resolve themselves.

And if they don’t – which is okay too; emotions hang around sometimes – we can just make space to feel them. And so, for me, emotions don’t drag me down. They don’t ruin my day. They don’t interfere with me living the life I want to live and pursuing the purposes that I want to pursue.  

So, I do want to say thank you to all those who expressed concern for me. But just, for me, just because I was feeling intense emotions, it didn’t actually mean I was like struggling in a chronic way.

Those feelings are real and they matter, and I sincerely do care. I do still care immensely about supporting survivors of abuse, and I’m gonna keep doing my work and living my life, and when opportunities to support them come up, I’m going to keep taking action to change what I can change.

Now, I understand the situations aren’t always that simple. I don’t mean simple in like like this wasn’t tragic, but I mean simple in like this was an event that I took action on. Right?

That for me or for many of those of you out there, like, you often face many problems that seem overwhelming. You may not have all of the resources or the support to work through them all at once. And I can understand that. Right?

There was a time when I was doing full-time therapy in a residential treatment center, working with these clients and their families who had so many complex situations, that I had these big feelings and difficult situations.

They were coming on so frequently that I wasn’t able to process through them. I felt helpless and overwhelmed at times, and that led to chronic stress and burn out and chronic insomnia.

It’s like if someone throws a tennis ball at you, you can catch it and you can throw it back. You might even be able to catch two or three tennis balls. But when you have dozens of balls being thrown at you, it’s impossible to catch them all, and you might feel burnt out or overwhelmed or you might give up.

Setting Boundaries Helps

And in situations like these, setting boundaries can really help. So, boundary doesn’t necessarily mean like to tell the world to stop throwing tennis balls at you but choosing which ones you’re gonna try to catch.

So, in that situation 10 years ago, I took steps to switch to outpatient work and to add in more variety to what I do so that I don’t burn out.

I love doing therapy, and I love making videos, and I love hanging out with my family and hiking and working in the yard, so I added more variety to my life.

And right now, I feel like life is really good. So, thank you for your concern, but  please be reassured that I’m okay, and redirect your concern into resolving your own emotions. If you felt an intense emotion, ask yourself, “Oh, is there some action I should take?”  

You know, “What can I do to work through and resolve this emotion?” Because emotions are meant to be resolved. And for the people who were abused by the psychologist and the survivors of abuse everywhere, they can benefit from your love and your action, from your support, from listening to them, taking action to make the world a better place and a safer place for them.

So, I hope that you can also take those steps to resolve the emotions that you felt in response to watching my video.

To learn more about how to process your emotions, click the link below. 

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